Smallpox

Coping with Infectious Disease

The list of infectious diseases that could leap from remote areas of the world to strike countries thousands of miles away is growing. A warning of what can happen occurred a decade ago when an outbreak in China of a mysterious new viral disease, known as SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, was covered up by the Chinese authorities, allowing infected airline passengers to carry the virus to more than two dozen other countries.

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No more needles: Startups design better vaccines

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation reports that immunization has led to the eradication of smallpox, a 74 percent reduction in childhood deaths from measles over the past decade, and the near-eradication of polio. But children in developing countries are still in dire need of vaccines, which are not only expensive but require refrigeration, making them difficult to preserve in the poorest parts of the world.
 
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US, 26 countries launch effort to fight outbreaks

The U.S. and 26 other countries began a new effort Thursday to prevent and fight outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases before they spread around the globe.

U.S. health officials called the Global Health Security Agenda a priority because too many countries lack the health infrastructure necessary to spot a new infection rapidly and sound the alarm before it has time to gain a foothold and even spread into other countries.

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Why Global Health Security Is Imperative

When he opened the box, André Berro was wearing surgical gloves, mask, and eye protection—routine protocol for a CDC quarantine public health officer, but this was not a routine package. A U.S. Customs scan of the airmail package that arrived at the San Francisco airport from the Philippines showed an outline of what looked like several human skulls.

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TFAH says adult immunization rates are “abysmal”

Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit organization focused on disease prevention, said on Thursday that the recently released adult immunization rates for 2012 are abysmal and a new strategy is needed to increase rates.
 
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Preserving Vaccines

Scientists studying microbes that live in volcanic hot springs have invented a way to preserve viruses that could someday change how vaccines are delivered in poor countries.

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The Miracle of Vaccines (And Our New Year Resolution)

Every year, for the last few years, I have been sending the same Christmas card to friends and colleagues.

Although it looks indeed as a representation of a traditional Holy Family, very proper for the Christmas season at least in the Latin American tradition, the story is much more complex.

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Vaccinations have prevented at least 103 million cases of contagious disease since 1924

Vaccinations have been credited with some of humanity's greatest technological triumphs over disease, including drastically reducing polio around the globe and almost eliminating smallpox entirely. But how many people have been spared life-threatening infections thanks to the introduction of vaccines?

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U.S. gathers vaccine researchers to talk bioterrorism threat Q fever

While anthrax, smallpox and other "category A" bioterrorism threats dominate the collective public consciousness, a larger pool of lower-priority agents are also a danger. Q fever falls into this second tier, but the U.S. government is still sufficiently concerned to gather researchers to talk vaccine development.

Read the rest of the article here.

 

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Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety

From the WHO Global Vaccine Safety webpage:

"The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) was established in 1999 to respond promptly, efficiently, and with scientific rigour to vaccine safety issues of potential global importance.

The Committee provides independent, authoritative, scientific advice to WHO on vaccine safety issues of global or regional concern with the potential to affect in the short or long term national immunization programmes."

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